TRENTON – The State Auditor would be directed to conduct a performance review audit of the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) under legislation advanced by the Senate Labor Committee today. The bill is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari and Senator Troy Singleton.
"Nobody could have predicted the overwhelming number of unemployment claims that were made in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the economic impact affecting well over a million New Jersey residents, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development was just not prepared for the influx of claims,” said Senator Scutari (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “An incalculable number of New Jerseyans have been laid off or furloughed for the past several months, but we have an opportunity to continue to help them and do the best we can with what we have. That is why it is imperative the government study and audit the department's actions. We can never go through this again.”
Under the bill, S-2512, the audit would include an analysis of the office’s use of federal and state allocated funding; a determination of whether the existing personnel of the office is adequate to meet the statutory mandate of the office; an evaluation of the efficiency of the office’s internal operations, including during a state of emergency; and recommendations to address any organizational deficiencies that may be revealed by the audit.
"My office has heard from hundreds and hundreds of people desperately seeking help with trying to receive their unemployment benefits," said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). "Our citizens should not be waiting weeks and months for benefits they deserve. This legislation will pinpoint the inadequacies of our woefully outdated unemployment system and determine how we can prevent this from unfolding again in the future."
The bill was passed by the committee with a vote of 5-0.